As they garner more attention for their role in representing skills and knowledge, more states are pledging to ensure transparent data around credentials.

States set their sights on transparent data for credentials

As they garner more attention for their role in representing skills and knowledge, more states are pledging to ensure transparent data around credentials

Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota are partnering with a nonprofit to focus on credentials, primarily around data transparency and literacy.

Through the partnership with Credential Engine, Alabama’s Office of the Governor, Louisiana’s Community and Technical College System, and the Minnesota State system will collaborate with partner agencies to publish data, including education and career outcomes, for thousands of apprenticeships, certificates, licenses, degrees, and other credentials to the cloud-based Credential Registry in an effort to bring clarity, understanding, and improved utility to state education data.

Related content: Non-degree credentials and their role in the economy

The partnership brings the total number of states and regions partnering with Credential Engine to publish information about their education and training programs to 14.

Together, these states are transforming their education and workforce efforts by ensuring their data on credentials, what they represent, and how they connect to larger state efforts is comprehensive and accessible to students, consumers, and employers.

Alabama plans to use linked credential data to better connect employers, education providers, and students, beginning with high-demand sectors.
Ultimately, the state plans to develop a one-stop platform to house longitudinal data, serve as a student backpack, and provide an employer signaling platform. Relevant credential data will also be published to the Registry to contribute to the ultimate goal of enhancing learners’ access to career pathways.

“Enhancing credential transparency will produce powerful results for the citizens of Alabama,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Partnering with Credential Engine will help our state move forward with meeting growing workforce demands, beginning with the growing aerospace and aviation and healthcare industries.”

Louisiana’s work aims to better serve a growing portion of higher education students who often struggle to complete credentialing programs, starting with veterans and other students with prior learning experience. The state will focus its initial efforts on high-wage, high-demand industry sectors including welding, construction, and manufacturing.

“Publishing to the Credential Registry will help advance statewide efforts to empower learners with the information they need to make better informed education decisions,” said Dr. Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “We look forward to leveraging this partnership with Credential Engine to implement processes that will be able to recognize a student’s existing knowledge-base based on past credentials and ultimately provide learners with more efficient pathways to careers.”

In Minnesota, three agencies—Minnesota State, Office of Higher Education and the Department of Employment and Economic Development—will work together to use the Registry as a publicly searchable database for the credentials offered in the state, thereby creating a centralized one-stop experience for Minnesotans looking for education and training options. This work will transform how the state shares information about its public programs with students.

“We know that students today need to be prepared with a multitude of skill sets and be lifelong learners,” said Commissioner Dennis Olson, Jr. of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. “Through the work with Credential Engine, we will provide a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for students, workers, and education counselors to search for education opportunities all across Minnesota.”

“The addition of Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota to our growing list of state partners speaks volumes about the value of credential transparency,” said Scott Cheney, executive director of Credential Engine. “These three states are the latest to join us—not only because they believe in Credential Engine’s mission—but because they understand that their statewide economic success will increasingly rely upon their ability to evaluate and recalibrate their education and workforce systems in order to meet the demands of tomorrow’s jobs. Rich and comparable credential data are at the heart of solving this long-term need.”

With support from Credential Engine, each state will work to meet their goals for publishing information to the Registry through cross-agency collaboration, targeted outreach, and stakeholder engagement. The work will kick off in the coming weeks, and will continue to evolve as publishing begins over the next year.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione